Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for July, 2016

ICE

There is no warning — doctor’s appointment, test results, accident — nothing like that, life is normal — no warning that I’m walking on ice and I’m about to fall through. All of a sudden I find myself in this black hole that I can’t crawl out of. The news on TV doesn’t help. Actually I try to avoid the news but it finds me. Policeman killed in Texas, Hundreds killed in France, Police killed in Louisiana — the world in which we live desperately needs the HELP OF GOD. Or has He/She given up on us. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT FOR AN INSTANT.

Normally when I find myself in a black hole, I avoid people and definitely WRITING. How can I stay positive? How can I write anything of value that would help either myself or others? Interesting questions — NO ANSWERS or are they? This morning getting ready for church I opened the bible to: Isaiah 49: 9 ” saying to the prisoners: “Come out.”

Good! I will admit that this didn’t necessarily help me. Come out from where? Am I a prisoner? But it is my custom to read the whole chapter. “The Lord called me from birth.” I will admit that gave me pause. I’ve read this before, and usually think “I’m in trouble now!” Did it HELP? I am sure it probably did — because I’m sharing this ramble with you rather than hiding under the mess of stuff that is my life. Recently a person about to retire shared his plans with me — he has two pensions which he is banking. He plans to work another year before he retires to Phoenix where his grandchildren live. I’ll admit that sounded wonderful, maybe? This gentleman sounded like he liked to go places. My husband likes to drive but he is particular about the food he eats. When we were in Texas he DID NOT LIKE THE FOOD available there. Traveling with him is interesting unless I’m doing the cooking. Are we supposed to travel — good question? How? We lost our motor home in the tornado last year.

Now I’ve stated before that I do not hear or see “my friends in high places.” But they get their messages to me anyway. Recently I’ve been getting hit on the head A LOT. It might be because I have not been writing.

Whatever the reason, it is comforting to me that I have “help” in higher places. Recently we were at the camper and I noticed a woman pushing an enclosed stroller. As I passed by I noticed she had dogs for passengers. I just had to stop and talk to her. I’m glad that I did. She noticed my shoes and told me of a source of the shoes I was wearing. A) I found them comfortable. B) I didn’t think they were expensive and didn’t know how I would get more. Question solved. Just a little “help.” As you can tell, I NEED ALL THE “HELP” — I can get.

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AGING BACKWARDS

I was intrigued when I learned of the DVD. I was very happy when the person who told me about it, followed up with an email with the correct title and presenter. Instead of debating for weeks, I searched, found and ordered right away. In fact, it arrived before we went back out to the camper. It traveled with me. And I actually opened it and tried out the first exercise before we even left.

It was a good thing that I did. Exercise clothes that I previously been able to wear were impossible to remove. My shoulders have tightened up, as well as other body parts. Since I had advanced warning, I was able to bring clothes to exercise in.

The exercises are extremely gentle. I have trouble getting down on the floor. The first time I did the floor work, I sat on the couch. I have since been able to get down onto the floor, getting up is still a major problem. My knees don’t want to support my weight. My right leg doesn’t bend like it used to. I’m guessing that the stiffness in my body contributes to my feeling of being old. I’m hoping that as I become more flexible, that feeling will pass.

Each time I have done the exercises – one compete set is for muscles, the second for bones and uses a chair for bar work — that night various body parts protest that I moved them. I have done the complete series 6 times now. Either I’m trying harder or working more of my body parts because various muscles let me know they I worked them. I’m hoping that getting up from a chair will be easier, as well as getting out of a car. “My friends” are very happy that I’m moving. So far I do two sets, one for muscles, the next day one for bones and I’m allowed to take the next day off. We will see how long this lasts.

This is the beginners set. We will have to see if the powers that be decide I need a more advanced set. I would really like to be able to get up from the floor unaided and out of a chair. I would like to use the reclining chairs at the pool. Of course, I would like my knees to work like they used to and be able to take my clothes off, UNAIDED!

AGING BACKWARDS — I’m ready!

ANNIVERSARY

On June 22, 2015 a tornado damaged more than 700 acres at Woodhaven Lakes at 7:50 PM. A double trunk tree fell on our motor home, causing it to be the poster child of the tornado. The picture of the motor home appeared front page on three newspapers and had its own spot on television. We also lost more than nine trees on the front of our lot and more behind. We were fortunate to be home that night. My husband needed a new prescription for his insulin and our doctor was on vacation. When we bought our lot, it was for the shade — now we have sunshine, plenty of it. We have planted five new trees — four survived the winter. Flowers that need the sunshine now have a space in our garden.

We have vacationed at Woodhaven the week of Father’s Day in June for more years than I care to count. My husband has always enjoyed good fishing, summer vacations haven’t really started yet and the campground is quiet. I noticed that the anniversary of the tornado would be that week but didn’t think anything about it. No cause for alarm.

Monday, June 20 had a full strawberry moon on the solstice. It was beautiful. I captured the rising of the moon on my camera. I’ve learned that in olden times, the Native Americans picked strawberries to the light of the moon. I also learned that there wouldn’t be another full moon on the solstice for 50 years. I don’t think I will be around then.

Storms were predicted for June 22. I turned our weather radio on. The weather person explained the meeting of the cold front coming into the area with the warm front and the possibility of tornadoes at the junction. Sadly the junction was in our area. The tornado sirens went off at 7:30 and we moved to a safer place. I stood in the shelter of the comfort station talking to others with my eye on the sky while my husband sat in the car listening to his ham radio with our dog. I will admit that I sent a few prayers up for safety from the storms. Thankfully the tornadoes stayed to the north and south of us. There were four touch downs in our area, 18 tornadoes sighted to the south, four doing significant damage. Security came by to tell us the danger was over.

The question now is — will we be at Woodhaven June 22 in 2017? Time will tell. The weather has become more violent world wide. I miss old fashioned rain.

QUESTIONS

It is very helpful to have “friends in high places” — at times. I ask a question, or I wonder about something, or I have a problem and need a solution. Often the answer arrives in the near future. I hear something on the news, or from another person. A letter arrives in the mail, or a magazine. The method of delivery changes with the situation. And sometimes, the answer doesn’t come at all. It is not a given that I will receive an answer. So when I do, it usually comes as a surprise.

The reverse is also true. When I should be doing something, and DON’T, I’m pestered. Things fall onto my various body parts. I get hit on the head. And I don’t always know what I’m supposed to be doing. When I am slow to respond, the actions continue. The problem might be my weight — it is still too high. The problem might be my shoes — already worn. The problem can be anything — sometimes I can’t figure it out.

Recently the pain in my knees, shoulders and hips has been an issue. A friend at the VA clinic suggested I take 2 TBL of organic apple cider vinegar with 2 TBL of honey. I increased the amount of vinegar right away but the honey became an issue. I was getting honey everywhere when I tried to measure it so I just squirted the bottle. Evidently I wasn’t using the proper amount of honey. When he asked how it was working, I hedged my answer and he replied that honey was VERY important. I have increased the amount of pressure and amount of time of adding honey so hopefully it is closer to 2 TBL. And I’m noticing the difference.

I’ve also backed off on my cherry smoothies only to have the pain resume. I’m trying to make sure I don’t skip too many days in a row.

Recently we were at the camper, and I was in the pool talking to a woman. She had watched a program on public television that concerned the flexibility of the body. She was impressed and ordered the DVD. I’ve noticed that I’m having trouble getting out of the car and off the chairs at the pool. Our sofa has become a challenge. The fact that I’m losing my flexibility doesn’t fill me with warm fuzzies. I have added tai chi back into my morning routine. I have also added leg raises and stretches to my evening routine. They might not be enough. More exercise might be required.

I DID IT!

Feeling old, temperature at 93 degrees and rising. Did I really want to go downtown? Blues Fest weekend — 33rd to be exact. My husband does not like crowds. He is not really into the Blues, Country is his music. Did I really want to go downtown? I knew asking him to go with me in the high heat, and crowds was not good for him. For years I never went down to attend the FREE events — because he didn’t want to go and I didn’t go without him.

One year, their 25th to be exact, I decided to wander down and have been a regular attendee since then. I realized that I really like Rhythm and Blues. Of course there is not much in the way of music that I don’t like. Heavy Metal might be one. The first time I went down, I got in line for the concerts at Petrillo Music Shell, sitting off to the right, three to four rows from the stage. I have enjoyed watching the signers (words into motion) and listening to some of the great Blues artists. Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters, to name a few. I have stayed late and wandered home after dark. I have spoken to people from England that planned their vacation to be in Chicago for the Blue’s Fest.

This year we were back in town. My husband had doctor appointments scheduled for Friday and Monday. Saturday and Sunday were free. The forecast for Friday was in the 90’s. So was Saturday. A cold front was coming in Saturday night so Sunday was scheduled to be cooler. Both of my knees didn’t like me. My good (?) knee tangled with an underwater swimmer in the pool and was damaged. My left knee was still protesting when I wore shoes that affected my knee and hip. Reason told me to stay home.

If you have been reading my thought rambles for some time you are probably aware of the fact that I am stubborn and often don’t listen! 93 temperatures weren’t going to keep me home. I promised to drink plenty of water, stay in the shade and be aware of how I was feeling. I asked which stops had elevators downtown and walked a little farther to avoid taking the stairs. (Both coming and leaving.) I planned to wear new shoes so as not to cause any more injury to my body. I thought carefully of the clothes I was wearing to protect myself from the sun. I decided not to carry a chair — it would be too heavy, I would look for places to sit down. From past experience I knew that sitting on the ground was out, I’d never get up.

I realized that I had been on my feet too long and looked for an empty spot on a bench when I entered the park. Right in front of my eyes was a spot — I asked if I could sit down and was told that I could only until the photographer returned. When he returned, I was invited to stay. THANK YOU!

The gentleman was originally from Illinois, but moved to California where he recently retired. They bought a RV with a toy compartment for his Harley and wander the country visiting Blues Fest’s and Harley Davidson meets. His companion was from the Monterey Bay area. He grows strawberries by the Salinas river. I met my husband in California, our eldest daughter was born in Carmel. I felt right at home — the music was good, the shade comfortable — I stayed until the set was over.

I always wander the whole Fest, checking out the food, the artists. They had amazing FREE rib samples. Wandering here — there, I realized I needed to sit down. Lines where forming for the Music Shell and possibly because of the heat, instead of just one, many lines had formed. I joined one and got FRONT ROW seating. (Sadly my camera was at home.) I totally enjoyed the national anthem sung by Nellie Travis in a beautiful red, blue and white gown. (Sunday I complimented her on her singing and appearance. I asked one of the venue operators to pass on the compliment but it was suggested I tell her myself.)

This has passed the word count I usually use so I will quickly end this. Sunday was cooler, my husband joined me and carried chairs. We used the elevator again and spent time in the shade and also the sun. I saw people that I knew. We didn’t stay for the evening performance and we walked back to the Library to take the elevator. Combined total steps for both days was 37,867. I couldn’t believe it. I’m TIRED but I sure don’t feel OLD!

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